The Oregon House voted this week to lower the stakes of new standardized exams, just as thousands of students are taking them for first time.

“This House Bill 2680 does really two things: it prohibits using summative test results for the 2014-15 school year, to rate schools or evaluate teachers,” said the bill’s co-sponsor, Democrat Susan McLain.   

A computer lab at Westview High School.

A computer lab at Westview High School.

Rob Manning/OPB

It also creates a work group to look at the new “Smarter Balanced” exams.  

The federal No Child Left Behind law requires states to use tests for accountability purposes. Oregon has already gotten federal permission to delay using the test results to evaluate teachers. Crystal Greene with Oregon’s education department says similar permission is expected for school ratings.  

What the bill doesn’t address is whether the 2015 test results would still be used as a baseline to compare against future performance. That’s  the current approach approved by the feds.  The bill now goes to the state senate.

An earlier version of this story attributed to the Oregon Department of Education an analysis of the bill  that officials say mischaracterized their view.